Cougars/Marines End Season With VictoriesIssue Date: November 25, 2020
Cougars Run Game Takes the Sting Out Hornets in Blowout Win
The Coleman Cougars are going out on a high, and while the 2020 season is done, the Cougars have a lot to look forward to in coming years.
The Cougars defeated Markesan by a score of 55-12 on Thursday to finish the season strong. In the first quarter, Coleman took a 14-0 lead behind touchdown passes from Cayden Bintz to Will Bieber from 23 yards out and Tyler Blanchard from five.
In the second quarter, Coleman's lead ballooned to 27-0 after a one-yard run from Blanchard and 22-yard run from Bieber.
Owen Kinziger and Dylan VanErmen scored touchdowns, with VanErmen scoring from 83 yards out and Kinziger punching in from three.
Markesan scored twice in the fourth quarter, with a kickoff return touchdown and a short run, but it wouldn't spoil Coleman's big day, especially since the Cougars didn't know early in the week if they had already played their last game due to COVID-19 uncertainties.
"It was nice for our seniors and the rest of the kids to end it on the field because it was a really empty feeling sitting at home last week not knowing if we would be able to play or not, so it's nice to just get the opportunity to play and then play as well as we did, especially with a week off," Coleman coach Jeff Bronson said.
Kinziger, a sophomore, had the standout day for Coleman, with his 15 carries taking him 207 yards.
It was the seniors that had Bronson's attention after the game. Coleman is a young team, with just three seniors, but they're some big ones, with quarterback/defensive back Cayden Bintz, lineman Cahl Szabo and running back/linebacker Tyler Blanchard playing their final games in Cougar green.
"They're going to be very hard to replace. We have some capable kids, but from what no. 2 (Blanchard) and no. 14 (Bintz) have meant the last four years, it's going to take a pretty monumental effort to even replace them," Bronson said.
This season has allowed Coleman to gain some good experience up front, which it will carry into next season, with its entire offensive line and multiple tight ends returning in 2021.
"For the development of the kids, this was great," Bronson said. "It's fun watching the growth and development of these guys."
With Bieber and Kinziger coming back as juniors behind that line, the Cougars' rushing attack could be even better next year.
Bieber ran three times for 43 yards Thursday, Blanchard ran nine for 40, Bintz carried five times for 26, Peter Kuchta took three carries for 41 yards and VanErmen ran four times for 87 yards.
In total, Coleman ran for 444 yards (11.1 yards per rush) to Markesan's 99 (three yards per rush).
Marines Rally to Slip Past Bulldogs 21-20 in Season Finale
The Marinette Marines and Peshtigo Bulldogs are looking to the future after wrapping up the 2020 season against one another on Thursday.
Marinette got its first win of the season over a shorthanded Bulldogs squad by a 21-20 score. Both teams finished the season with one win apiece.
It was the same old story for Peshtigo, who started hot but faded in the second half as legs grew tired, with most of the team's players playing every down on both sides of the ball.
Peshtigo started off the scoring with a 68-yard run from Darius Sechen only a minute into the game, but Marinette matched with a three-yard run from Jameion Cross with three minutes to go in the quarter.
By halftime, Sechen and Will Boettcher had scored short touchdowns to stretch Peshtigo back out to a 20-6 lead, but it wouldn't last, in what Peshtigo coach Jeff Bayerl described as "typical" of his team this year.
Cross scored on a four-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Adam Lemery, who battled injury throughout the game, scored on a 10-yard run in the fourth. A Cale Ducane extra point pushed Marinette ahead by a point with 3 minutes, 33 seconds to go.
Marinette coach Nate Anderson was happy with his team's second half performance. He said he told the team at halftime that they would win the game after they just "tried to do too much" and didn't execute in the first half.
"They answered the bell. They did. So proud of them," Anderson said. "We executed, we believed we were going to win in the second half, we cleaned things up and the kids played with heart and passion."
Anderson will hope that's a sign of things to come. Marinette got just the one win this season, with several blowout losses, but that's not indicative of the team's progress and future goals, he said.
"Playoffs or bust next year," he said.
For Bayerl, his top offseason goal has to be getting more players out to play, with just 21 players on this year's roster, with 13 of those players underclassmen.
"We've got to kid more kids out. That's the bottom line," Bayerl said.
Boettcher and Sechen will be seniors next season. They led the team Thursday, with Boettcher running 12 times for 32 yards and a touchdown and going 9-for-17 passing with an interception and Sechen taking 11 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Preston Rehwinkel, the team's leading pass catcher, is a senior. He caught five passes for 63 yards Thursday.
For Marinette, Cross ran 15 times for 76 yards and two scores in his final game as a Marine. Brett Whiting ran 15 times for 65 yards and Lemery ran five times for 35 yards and a score, both will return next season.
For Marinette, all but six of the team's 30 players will be back next year.
Recent stories, opinions and photos